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Irish dairy farmers to receive €6.5 million in payments

Staff Writer |
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. has announced that payments started yesterday to Irish dairy farmers in respect of Phase I of the EU voluntary supply management scheme for dairy.

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The scheme was a short term market stabilisation mechanism introduced by the EU Commission last year as part of a range of tools to mitigate price volatility in the Dairy sector.

Minister Creed said, "I am pleased to announce that my Department has commenced payments under Phase 1 of this scheme which will see almost €6.5m paid out to 3,500 Irish dairy farmers who applied for aid to reduce their production in the last quarter of 2016.

"This will provide a significant cashflow boost to dairy farmers at an important time of year. I would like to acknowledge the initiative of Commissioner Hogan in coming forward with the scheme as part of their response to dairy market volatility last year."

In reference to the wider suite of volatility mitigation support measures brought forward by the EU Commission, of which the Voluntary Supply Management Scheme was a part, Minister Creed stated, "The €11 million allocated to Ireland from the EU’s ‘exceptional adjustment aid for milk and other livestock farmers’ was used in an innovative way, together with €14 million in national funding, to contribute to the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme.

"This scheme, developed by my Department in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), has made €150 million in loans available to farmers in all sectors, at interest rates of 2.95%.

"This scheme provides farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital, which will allow them to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt."

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